Diving In For Charity at Swim For Hope 2017
By Revathie Dhanabalan
November 9, 2017
From 20 to 22 October 2017, over 2,000 participants swam a total of 210,901 laps, raising over $155,000 for charity at Swim For Hope 2017. The amount raised was the highest since it started in 2011. The event finale, held at SAFRA Tampines, was attended by Guest-of-Honour, Speaker of Parliament, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin.
Introduced in 2011, Swim For Hope provides an opportunity for Operationally Ready National Servicemen (NSmen) and their families to contribute to charitable causes, while promoting fitness and bonding through swimming.
This year, Swim For Hope saw an almost 50 percent increase in fundraising and almost 10 percent increase in participation from last year. The amount raised was distributed equally to four beneficiaries - Aquatics Heart and Hope, Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC), Rainbow Centre Singapore and Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Care Fund [pictured below].
The four beneficiaries receiving the SAFRA Swim For Hope 2017 cheque from Speaker of Parliament, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin
This year was a special Swim For Hope event as it commemorated 50 years of National Service (NS50) by introducing two new categories - NS50 Individual Challenge and NS50 Team Challenge.
The NS50 Individual Challenge tested the endurance of participants as they swam at least 50 laps at each SAFRA club to swim a total of 250 laps or more. The NS50 Team Challenge encouraged NS buddies to team up to complete at least 250 laps. Both categories collectively attracted over 960 participants.
The NS50 Individual Challenge was won by Mr Bernard Soh, with a total of 808 laps completed across all five clubs [pictured below].
Mr Bernard Soh (far right) receiving Champions award with the 1st and 2nd runner ups for the NS50 Individual Challenge
The seventh edition of this fundraising event also featured a Families For Life Parent-and-Child category for the second time, which saw 121 parent-and-child pairs swimming together. This category was won by Janice Wong, 42, and her son, Marcus Khoo, 11 [pictured below]. Together, the pair swam 506 laps.
Ms Wong Hong Yan and her son, Marcus Khoo receiving Families For Life Champion Award from Speaker of Parliament, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin
The Open Category was won by Mr Quan Boon Long [pictured below], who swam a total of 1,500 laps throughout the three days. A total of 872 participants took part in the Open Category, where individuals were able to swim any number of laps.
Speaker of Parliament, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin (on the left) with Open Category winner Mr Quan Book Long (on the rights), who swam 1,500 laps
The event was further made possible by various groups such as the Naval Diving Unit, NUS Raffles Hall Swim Team, Special Olympics Singapore and other Singapore Armed Forces Units, participating in the swim. About 315 naval divers and national athletes swam alongside other participating NSmen and their families. Prior to the event, Singapore National Swimmer Pang Sheng Jun [pictured below], conducted swim clinics and seminars. Proceeds from the clinics and seminars were contributed to the charity as well.
National swimmer Pang Sheng Jun (on the right) with Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Speaker of Parliament speaking with Para athletes (on the left)
Naval Diving Unit with CEO of SAFRA, Mr Edward Leong (on the left) and Chairman of Tampines Club Executive Committee, Colonel (NS) Lam Toa Yee, Eugene, (on the right) at SAFRA Tampines for Swim For Hope 2017
We thank you for your generous support for SAFRA Swim For Hope 2017 and we would also like to extend our gratitude to all our volunteers, honourable guests and participants.
We hope to see you again at the next event. Keep the spirit of giving alive!